Posted by armpitofamerica on May 4, 2013
Yeah I live in Lawn Guyland now, but that doesn’t mean I can’t still write about the place I lived for 29 years, right?
Well I was back in my home state last weekend after making the trip to the Paris of the Armpit of America, AKA, Jersey City. What I didn’t count on was this journey including an extra 45 minutes of driving around looking for parking. Anyway, the trip was well worth the effort, as the plan was to head to a bar I’d never heard of until that night: Barcade.
Barcade is exactly what it sounds like – a bar with an arcade in it, or, if you see the glass half full, an arcade with a bar in it. But this isn’t just any bar – they have a bunch of obscure and local beers on tap, and even barley wine. Barley wine!? Who even knew such a thing existed? And it is more than just an arcade – there are like 30 classic consoles that are lovingly cared for and maintained – no need to worry about putting in a quarter and the stupid machine not playing.
My three companions and I played the vintage Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game, which brought back so many memories of my youth, like the years I spent in a Saturday morning bowling league, waiting for those two hours of shitty bowling to be over with so I could go to the arcade and waste a bunch of quarters playing the TMNT game. Though we all knew Donatello and his bo staff were most effective at killing the foot clan soldiers, Rafael was always my favorite and of course I had to play as him that night. And just like in my youth, we all died, or as the game’s lingo presents it – became shell-shocked – during the epic battle with Bebop and Rocksteady.
But this walk down memory lane didn’t end there; Barcade also had the classic Simpsons arcade game. Once again, just seeing it brought back so many memories: back in ’94 or so, a friend and I spent an entire afternoon at the previously mentioned bowling alley trying to beat it. With pockets full of quarters, a dream in our hearts, and not a care in the world, us two nerdy, awkward 6th graders finally beat the game – an achievement I have yet to follow up with anything so meaningful. Anyway, the Simpsons game was one of the more popular ones that night, so I never got the chance to see if I could still win it. Instead, we played this weird little game called “Gauntlet,” some kind of fantasy game where you go around killing monsters and looking for giant drumsticks.
I could go on and on about this place and all the nostalgia it brings – every single console in the place has to be at least 20 years old. And there is not a single first-person shooter or bulky racing game in sight. Barcade just delivers the classics: your Donkey Kongs, your Pac-Men, your Tetri, and the like. And the fact that you can drink alcohol while playing these games, instead of the Crystal Pepsi that accompanied my early 90s arcade experiences, makes it all the better. So the next time you can’t make up your mind whether to spend the night at a bar or an arcade, go to Barcade and do both. Yeah, I know you could do the same at Dave and Busters, but that place just sucks compared to this one.
Posted in Bars, Best of NJ, Reviews | Tagged: arcade, Barcade, Bars, beer, Jersey City, New Jersey | Leave a Comment »
Posted by armpitofamerica on August 24, 2011
As summer is slowly coming to an end, I thought I’d share some pics of why I love living in Belmar. Both of these pictures were taken on the same day, a couple of weeks ago. The first is of the full moon coming out of the horizon. After a 15 minute walk from the beach to the marina, I got a pic just as the sun was setting. Perfect timing!
Posted in Belmar, Best of NJ | Tagged: beach, Belmar, Jersey Shore, moonrise, sunset | 1 Comment »
Posted by armpitofamerica on January 3, 2011
I was recently asked to write a guest post for the travel blog, onetravelbloggers.com. I was told I could write about literally anything. Since there are so many places in the Armpit of America that I could write about, I couldn’t pick just one. So, I decided to write about New Jersey as a whole. Though other bloggers have written about more exotic locales, like India, Thailand, and Romania, I think mine holds up pretty well!
Without further ado, here is my article, “New Jersey – An Unlikely Tourist Destination”.
Posted in Best of NJ, Personal | Tagged: New Jersey, Personal, Random, travel, travel blogs | Leave a Comment »
Posted by armpitofamerica on April 15, 2010
That stands for "We Play Reallygoodmusic, Bitch!"
A few years ago, I got a job in Princeton, NJ and spent about two and a half years working there. One of the highlights of that job was my hour-long commute. For reals. You see, though I was by myself in the car, I wasn’t alone. I had the radio to keep me company. And I kept that radio tuned to WPRB 103.3 FM – the radio station of Princeton University.
Though I would originally listen to Q104.3, the classic rock station based in New York, it would often break up as I traveled west towards Princeton. Each day, I would do my usual search for a new station; every time the seek button brought me to a new one, I would either hear a commercial or static. One day, though, I landed at 103.3. I heard this really weird song that sounded like it was being sung by Lisa Simpson, and I was hooked. (I would later find out that the song was Only Skin by Joanna Newsom.)
I kept the radio on 103.3 for the rest of my commute, and I kept hearing all these unusual songs. They were like nothing I had ever heard. Upon getting home, I looked up 103.3 to find out what it was all about. I learned that it is the student-run radio station of Princeton University, known as WPRB. As I had been so accustomed to conventional radio, where I would often hear the same songs over and over, this new (to me) station was a real awakening.
For the remainder of my time working in Princeton, I would listen to WPRB whenever possible. I was exposed to all different kinds of music, as delivered by the station’s many different deejays. You see, they have a different set of deejays and different programming each day. On top of that, every deejay is only on for like two hours. Although I was only able to listen to the station from 8 AM to 9 AM and from 5 PM to 6 PM (meaning I would hear the same shows each week), I still got a good sampling of music I had never heard before. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Best of NJ, Music | Tagged: Music, Princeton, Princeton University, WPRB | Leave a Comment »
Posted by armpitofamerica on February 24, 2010
New Jersey isn’t really known as a hotspot for marine life. The animals that eke out a living in our polluted waters eventually succumb to our chemical runoff or get scooped out of the water and end up on a plate at the Red Lobster in East Brunswick. However, there is one place in the Armpit of America where our fishy friends can thrive – Adventure Aquarium.
Anyone who has been to New Jersey’s Adventure Aquarium would surely agree that it is one of the best things in the Armpit of America. Ironically, this “best thing” is located in the worst part of the state. You see, this wonderful aquarium is found in Camden. For those who don’t know, Camden is a shithole. Routinely ranked as one of the most dangerous cities in the country, you normally don’t want to spend much time there. But, as long as you can dodge a few bullets as you drive through the city before ending up at the revitalized Camden waterfront, the trip will be well worth it.
Though there are bigger and better aquariums relatively close by (like those in Baltimore and Boston), us New Jerseyans should be very proud of this place. It offers a chance to see all kinds of marine life face to face (rather than the usually dead jellyfish and horseshoe crabs that wash up on the Jersey Shore). And, I think we all should be proud that such a bright spot can emerge in an otherwise disgusting city like Camden.
I went to adventure aquarium for the third time about two weeks ago. Though things haven’t changed much in my visits, I still find everything just as amazing. Then again, I have a fish fetish. But enough about me, onto the fish! Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Armpit Adventures, Best of NJ | Tagged: Adventure Aquarium, Camden, Chris Christie, Personal | 4 Comments »